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Troupe leader escapes jail

Thursday, 10th May 2001.

A HAVERHILL woman who stole 5,500 from a majorette troupe was spared a prison sentence because of her mitigating circumstances, a court was told.
Maureen Neale, 57, who led Haverhill's New Image majorette troupe with her daughter Jacqui, stole the money over a four-year period.
But because she put the money back, cared for her elderly mother, and her age, magistrates in Bury St Edmunds yesterday decided not to send her to prison.
In January, Jacqui Neale, 24, was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment at Sudbury Magistrates' Court for stealing more than 5,000 from the troupe.
She admitted "dipping" into the troupe's funds.
Bury Magistrates' Court heard how her mother, Maureen, put all the money back into the troupe in April last year, before police investigations began in August.
Robin Howe, magistrate, said: "You've come within a close breath of prison.
"The fact that you put the money back, your age, your previous good character and the fact that you are looking after your elderly mother are the mitigating facts.
"Without those, you might have faced a different future."
Neale, of Stanton Place, Haverhill, was given a community rehabilitation order for 12 months, combined with a community service order of 80 hours' unpaid work. She was ordered to pay 250 costs.

Haverhill Weekly News

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